Two Poems by Laura Blomvall
Portrait of Carlotta
I open the floorboards searching for Death. There is no tilled path in the summer winds, turnstile in the inevitabilities of girlhood. My fingers meet dust, necklaces and strange shadows with scuttling feet. I climbed up the ladder to the attic and felt Death’s hand snatch my ankle. ‘Why look for me?’ His voice is thick with dreams. I tick slipped forms with ink that spills off-centre and close curtains of McKittrick Hotel. That is how dirt congeals: brick by brick, it takes down walls, foundations. Futures scythe inside like a fever. Futures scythe inside like a fever. The bleeding petals have folded in tithed gales—they have yielded, they have washed downstream. I unscrew the nails from the beams. The roof sways like hay, hoards its sheltering legs, feathers of mangled wrens falling from eaves. Death is all white and light, a cloud entering. He lifts me, or I lift him—in mimicry. ‘You were a question mark swerving off the road.’ There is no tilled path in the summer winds. I open the floorboards searching for Death.
BIBI’S BAR. NIGHT.
‘Wanna buy a lady her next cigarette?’ To lean against the door, idle in rain, is to advertise a service: a chance to be in sync, off-worldly repertoire of love, his I to her firewalled Thou. The three of them glitch in towering heels towards his trench coat, soaked with noir, crowd him with ‘Hello, A-boy, all alone?’, brush his epaulette. Nails pressed against clear Perspex, they find him past neon signs, pixelated feet en pointe to Tchaikovsky, hyperreal in thin film of rain. The clouds beat the streets blue with their drained archive, ones and zeros empty their inner screens. From any entry sign— even a drop of lack touching an eardrum— eyes flicker. To save thee. And so on. Or, I would fain know herself from the blame of all my dreams. (‘Slot a new coin in the machine.’) The agent shades her eyes from shame of storms. We’re all here to learn how to control light, how to shift it in columns—‘The man wearing the green jacket’, she says. ‘The one who killed Sapper. Find out what he knows.’ Doxie #2’s eyelashes motion left and right, umbrella’s ribs wind-bent sideways. ‘Jätkä on blade runner. Se on vitun vaarallinen.’ Like black tires splashing water from the full gutters of an open heart, her pursed mouth, her Finno- Ugric rubrics u-turn frail, futuristic. He could un-strike her match, had he at hand her flame. HOT / ГОРЯЧИЙ dissolve in odd angles of rain. They move the dark with letters.
About Laura Blomvall
Laura Blomvall is a Finnish writer who grew up in Belgium and now lives in Bristol, UK. Her previous poems have appeared in The Poetry Review and Propel Magazine. Her essays have been published by Cambridge University Press, Journal of Modern Literature, Edinburgh University Press, and others.